Name: Paul Cabry, 24
Degree: Economics, University of Leeds, 2:1, 2003
Occupation: Finance executive, Tesco
What do you do in your job?
I am responsible for reporting and analysis for our stores. This means I’m the link between the stores and the finance team and have to let them know how they perform compared to their budgets. All transactions in store are recorded centrally in a management recording system. I go into the system, bring out all the numbers and report back to stores on their daily trade.
What was your motivation in applying?
I was keen to get financial experience in a big blue-chip company. I also wanted to be part of a structured graduate programme which supports you and enables you to study for an accountancy qualification. There are so many different areas of finance that you can go into, but retail has such a day-to-day impact on everyone. Tesco is the biggest retailer in the country so seemed like the obvious choice.
What did the application process involve?
It was an online application form, which was handled by an external financial-recruitment agency. They conducted a telephone interview with me and I was invited for a first stage interview. This was followed by an assessment centre, which was the first time I had actual contact with Tesco.
What do you enjoy about your job?
Working in a company like Tesco means you have a lot of different people working around you. I come into contact with the people who work in the stores and people who work in logistics as well as those who work in finance.
Most challenging part of the job?
We are only a small cog in the overall business but we have to ensure that we communicate financial information to non-finance people in an accessible way. You need to make things as simple as possible for people who don’t have a financial background.
It can be difficult to juggle work, study and your social life. When you are studying for six months of the year to do further qualifications it can be difficult. But, I knew that I would be doing more exams before I took the role so I just have to accept it.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field:
Make an effort to understand the industry. Big retailers like Tesco feature in the news a lot so make sure you are on top of all the hot issues. You also have to be prepared to give up some of your evenings and weekends to study, as a job in retail finance will require you to do further qualifications.